Monday, March 10, 2014

Hats off to a hat on

Every time I've put a hat on Guy since he was coordinated enough to reach his head has been cast away in milliseconds after it has been placed on his head. So when school had "Hat Day" in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday, I was dubious. I had given up on hats. But, to be a team player, I bought him a hat and brought it to school. 

"He won't wear it," I warned the teachers. "But maybe he'll feel his first dose of peer pressure and get on board with the idea."

They smiled those all-knowing smiles and just nodded. "Oh, he'll wear it." 

I wondered what torture they had planned to result in the hat wearing, but decided I didn't want to know. 

But lo and behold, when I went to pick him up, he was carrying that hat around like a favorite teddy bear. And when I put it on his head he merely touched it and then left it on. 

Of course, I immediately had the teacher take a photo, because adorable. 

He hasn't deigned to wear the hat again since. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Snowy Days

We had an unexpected cold spell in Tulsa, with a few inches of snow the first week of March. Having a toddler locked inside for a weekend and then into Monday wasn't exactly high on my list if favorite things. 

So, I began running out of things to give him to keep him entertained. And finally I resorted to the picture below. I grabbed all the corks I've collected over the years (or maybe just last month - I'll never tell) and helping him sort them into different containers. 

Maybe that's inappropriate for a 1 1/2 year old, but did it keep him occupied for 10 minutes? Yes. I'll put that in the W column. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sleeping Is My Favorite

A rare sighting of the Tot sleeping past 7:30 a.m. On a weekday, of course.
You can barely see his little elephant cuddled on the other side of him.

Guy didn't sleep through the night consistently until he was about 9 months old. It was a long, long 9 months. Then, once he did start sleeping through the night, going to bed was still a nightmare. Every night was the same routine: we would read a book, he would lie sweetly on my shoulder as I sang him "Yesterday"  by the Beatles and "Castle on a Cloud" from Les Miserables, he would whisper and smile at me as I put him in his crib... And then he screamed bloody murder the moment I left the room. 

At around 16 months, Greg finally tried something new and gave Guy his musical elephant as he put him down in the crib. He immediately snuggled with it and was happy. Turns out, he just felt lonely. So now he sleeps with his lovey, and we leave his door open and make plenty of noise while he goes to sleep. Some nights we hear him playing for almost half an hour in his bed, and some nights he goes immediately to sleep. The magic is that he does it on his own, and finally has almost a cheery attitude when it's time to go in the crib. 

Even nicer is the fact that he will now often wake up at 6:00 a.m., but after muttering for a while in his crib, will go back to sleep, or play quietly in his crib until 6:45 or so. After spending a year with him going to sleep crying and waking up crying, the simple joy of a happy child in the morning has been enough to fuel me to smile before I've even had my coffee in the morning.

Monday, February 10, 2014

He grows!

Eating cheerios and smiling for the camera are now two favorite pastimes.

I cannot believe my little boy is a year and a half old. Time flies when you're having fun, right? He's talking, walking and melting hearts everywhere he goes. 

At the end of December, he had his adenoids removed and tubes put in his ears. After two eardrum-bursting, pus-spewing ear infections, it was a must. Since the procedure, his language skills took off. The hearing test that he failed so miserably before the operation, he passed with flying colors a few weeks ago. 

His vocabulary, though limited, is delightful. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Daddy (pronounced dad-day like a tiny Englishman. It is currently his favorite question as soon as I pick him up or if daddy is not in the bed in the morning.)
  • More ("moe!")
  • Na-na (which means milk, of all things)
  • Boo (Translation: poop. A good one to know)
  • Ome (his cockney version of "home")
  • Ball (Which typically means "I wish for the dog to bring me something to throw and quite possibly knock over breakable things.")
  • Maw-nah (Sometimes means yogurt but really means "I want that thing.")
  • Maaaay! (Usually a cry of despair. Translation: "I threw that cheerio on the ground from my high chair so that I could look at it from a distance, and the dog has eaten it! Make her put it back!")
  • Bye-bye (Self-explanatory)

A few seconds before this photo he was in a zombie-like engrossed state, watching Willow with his dad.
 Nothing like movies about lost babies for pre-nap prep.

He had the flu, which was miserable, but he was cheerful through most of it. The kid is hard to keep down. And it created an adorable game where he finds a tissue and fake "sneezes" (basically he just does a single headbang with a small whooshing noise) and then wipes his nose. And he's newly obsessed with sitting on the couch with us while I play Zelda (poorly) and dad beats all the hard bosses. 
Sad flu baby.

But really this is the most fun I've had with him so far. He's just a delight, and I love to hear him giggle. He's starting to "help" around the house. He throws things away (mental note: check the trash contents more often) and he will "clean" spills himself (we are not discouraging this, no matter how many tissues we go through in his efforts). 

Bedtime with Daddy. Ignore the tornadic mess behind them. 
Guy takes book selection seriously, and it sometimes gets messy.

Bedtime is even fun now. He sleeps with Crack (so named because he is addicted) the elephant. Guy gets a story and a song while he cuddles Crack, and then he is put in his crib with Crack. He spends between 5 and 15 minutes pulling Crack's tail (making him play Rockabye Baby) over and over. It's such a nice change from the constant crying of the past. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Snot Factory

If the name of this post doesn't make you gag, then you're probably an experienced mother.

And if that's the case, I have a question for you. Why, oh why, does our son constant have a stuffy and runny nose? It's NONSTOP. Every morning, I pick the little boy up to find a crusty face and he's barely able to breathe out his nose. It's so sad, and so frustrating to see him constantly struggling with this. We've had him on antibiotics, he's been on allergy medicine. I've cut out dairy, and we're careful with foods.

I'm not sure what to do next, other than back him off to only cereal and milk again and see if it makes any difference.

If you have advice, let me know! I'm desperate to avoid a lifetime of snot bubbles and crusty sheets. Though, I'm sure I'll still see plenty of both.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Time Slips By

I never knew how fast time could go by when you have a kid, but it really does. I also now understand Mommy Guilt far better than I ever wanted to. In a typical day, I only get to spend about 3 hours with Guy, and most of that is spent trying to get him fed, bathed, changed or otherwise in activity that isn't about fun or snuggling, which is what I really want to do. Still, it's amazing getting to spend time with him at all, and he is growing and changing so fast, it's hard to keep up.

I've noticed that he's really starting to get a personality. He finds things funny out of the blue, like when I start making monkey sounds at him while changing his diaper. He cracked up like I was some sort of comedienne. So now, I spend a lot of my day making monkey sounds, just to try to replicate the smiles I got.

Eating is a new adventure every day. Guy loves to hold onto the spoon and "feed" himself. But really all that's happening is him smearing food all over his face and gagging on the spoon. It takes some doing to keep him from sticking the long pointy end down his throat. He's tried (and liked) the following foods: sweet potatoes, squash, peas, green beans, pears and carrots. We've tried puffs, too, but I'll post a video of that shortly. 

He's always trying to escape baby jail. 

Sleep is also improving. Most nights Guy goes down without much of a fight. We have a routine in place, which helps. It starts with dinner, followed by some play time. Then we change him into jammies. As gross as it sounds, he only gets a bath about once or twice a week, because it aggravates his eczema. His poor face is always bright red from it, and his arms and legs routinely get dry and bumpy. So, we're going for the au natural method. But really, other than his hands, face, and butt, the rest of him rarely gets that dirty. Plus, he smells delicious without any additives. But I might be biased. Please excuse me while I dream about snacking on his fat little legs...

We try to avoid TV, but the Ravens were in the Superbowl, and apparently he's a HUGE fan. Who knew?

ANYWAY, he sleeps through the night about half of the week. The other half he'll wake up once or twice, but will usually soothe himself back to sleep. During the day on the weekends he gets plenty of sleep in nap form, but at school he rarely sleeps more than a couple of hours total. It's been a real struggle trying to figure out how to get him to have more sleep during the day. There may be a come to Jesus moment with the daycare workers, I think. 

No, no. This shot wasn't set up. He totally sleeps with George, honest!

For the last week, I've done a lot of traveling. I went to Ohio for a wedding, came home for two days and then left again for work for another three days. Let me tell you, it was brutal. I missed him so much that it hurt by the time I got back on Friday. I may or may not have indulged him by letting him nap on me most of the weekend. It's just so nice to smell his little head and love on him for a while while he's sleeping.

I mean, really. Who WOULDN'T want to cuddle with that?

He's also been playing around with vocalizing lately. So there's been a lot of baby babble in my house. Though, he refuses to use any other consonant than G. There's a lot of "Gagagagaga" going on, but no Da's or Ma's or Pa's. I'm ready for some new tricks, son.

Greg is sleeping here, so I thought it would be funny to put a baby on him. 

That's about the extent of what's going on right now. Well, actually, I'm sure there's a lot more. But I'll try to tell you more about it all later. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Six Months - The Age of Awesome

I'm afraid we're very overdue on posting. It has been a trying month, to say the least. There have been illnesses (me twice, Guy twice, Greg once), sleeping frustrations, a daycare change, schedule challenges, and much more to deal with. It's all very interesting, but also leaves little time for dalliances such as sitting at a computer and typing up what's going on. Still, I should make more time for this.

Anyway, enough apologizing, on with updating. As of yesterday our little Guy is SIX months old. It's unreal. It seems like I just got home from the hospital with a little lump of love, and suddenly we have this active, happy child. 

We've hit some interesting milestones, so without further ado, here are some new things, along with more photos than you probably want to see. 

  • We changed daycares. This is a godsend. Before, we were using a daycare that was close to my work, but all the way across the city from Greg's commute. Therefore I had to take Guy to school and pick him up EVERY DAY. Not that I don't love coming in and seeing his smiling face, but it was hard if I had to work late or had an event. He had to be picked up by 6, and Greg gets out of work at 5:30. He could only barely make it across town in half an hour, and it took another half hour to get home. Unnecessary and annoying. So, we found out a daycare closer to our house had an opening and we toured it. They have an amazing space - tons of room for running and playing. There are only 6 in his class, and they range in age from 6 months (Guy is the youngest) to 18 months. In his old class, the oldest was 6 months. It's nice for him to see older kids doing things like walking and crawling. So far, he seems to like it. The biggest problem has been getting him to sleep in a crib at naps, so some days I find he's only napped for a half hour all day. But, he's getting better, and is starting to settle in

Nap time for bambinos!

  • Solid foods are a hit. We've been doing cereal for a while now, but I've started introducing some vegetables and fruits. So far sweet potatoes, peas, squash and bananas have all been hits. He's been great with rice cereal, barley, and oatmeal. He's clearly a Tatum, because not a food has hit his lips that he hasn't eaten without a problem. In fact, he seems pretty annoyed when you get to the bottom of the bowl and stop serving it. 

Time to eat? Please?

  • His grip and reach have become much more refined. He can now easily grab something dangling in front of him, and pull it directly into his mouth. That means we finally have to be careful what we have within reach. Like, um, beer. 

I'm 21, I swear, ossifer.

Evidence of Guy's growing fascination with all things 
he can grab, shake, eat and smash into his face.
  • The grandparents have all been beside themselves as they watch Guy get older and more interactive. I can't begin to tell you how nice it is to live so close to both sets of grandparents. It means that we've had nearly weekly date nights since Guy was only 2 months old. Right before we had Guy, we read that something like 70% or more of married couples feel their marriage quality declines after having children. We're trying to be the other 30%, and so far, I think we have managed to achieve that goal.

Gigi can't get enough of holding sleeping babies. 
I'm pretty sure he thinks she's just a really fancy crib.  

Papa and Gramps with Guy. Funny story about Gramps and this picture - he and Guy were out in the hammock in their backyard. Birds flew overhead and, well, you see the result. Luckily, it got all over Gramps and not on Guy. But, as a GI doc, we're pretty sure he just inspires that behavior in all living things. 
  • He listens attentively and watches faces with pure fascination. It's funny to see him trying to process everything, and telling him stories or reading books is now so much more fun. He finally seems interested, and will even vocalize as if he's talking back. Mostly his comments are "Aaaah, aaah, ggggggaaaaaaa" but I still think he's a genius. 

"Oh really? And then what did she say? 
Oh no she didn't!"

  •  We've gotten the pleasure of dealing with illness several times now. Guy caught two minor bugs, which resulted in a low fever and lots of crankiness and lost sleep. He went to the doctor and experienced his very first blood draw, to check his platelets. I sat with him in my lap at the doctor's office, and distracted him while they pricked his tiny little finger. He seemed unaware at first, and then his little face just crumpled and he screamed. I felt so bad for the little man. Then they had to squeeze his finger repeatedly to get enough blood to test. He just cried and cried. Afterward, I hugged him and just apologized while he whimpered on my shoulder. Poor kid. Luckily, platelets were fine and he didn't have the flu, so we were sent home with a prescription for an antibiotic if it got any worse and instructions to help keep him comfortable.

Right: At the doctor's office, Guy showed off his penchant for his feet. 
Left: Sleeping off the ick at Gigi and Gramps's house. 

  • As you can see above, he loves his feet. They've had to take his socks off a few times at daycare because he gets them soaked by chewing on them. 
  • We just did away with the swaddle last night for the first time. He'd been breaking it for a while, but it still helped to get him to sleep. But, after many nights of horrible sleep, we decided to sleep train him (gently), and figured it was the best time to break the swaddling habit, too. My baby's growing up!
  • He is now flipping himself over onto his belly at night. I'm pretty glad for this, because it helps him keep from rubbing his face over and over in his sleep, which tends to wake him up. 
  • I've been able to get a few good laughs out of him. Real, deep laughs with a broad smile. One came from kissing and snuggling his little neck. It was pretty cute. 
  • Books are more fun. He loves to grab the pages and flip them back and forth while you try to read. The result is that you read a page and he closes the book, you turn a page and he turns it back. I hope he's not trying to say something about our taste in reading material.
  • He got his first playtime injury when another kid at school bit him. Poor little dude had teeth marks on his arm for a few days, but luckily it didn't break the skin. The daycare workers seemed really concerned that I was going to fly off the handle about it. But, really, when you have 6 babies in a room, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often. 
So, it's been a lot of fun, and we're slowly learning what we're doing. Really, we couldn't be happier. Well, maybe we could be happier if we slept more than 6 hours a night, but mostly, we're pretty happy.